When warm weather rolls around, you can often find me enjoying any type of activity that involves being outdoors, and this includes cooking. I’ve been stuck inside all winter, so I’m ready to spend as much time outside as possible. Why not take the kitchen with me?
Growing up, my friends and I would spend most of our summer weekends camping and cooking hot dogs and s’mores in a spot hidden among the cedars on my parents’ property. As we grew older and the adults found out just how cool our camping spot was, everyone started to join in, which made for even more fun. This meant we had to up the ante on our campfire cuisine, though.
My uncle, a handy blacksmith and avid cast-iron collector, quickly got us set up with a few campfire cooking basics: He fashioned two posts and a crossbar to place over the firepit, from which to hang a Dutch oven, and he donated an extensive collection of hot dog forks he made over the years, along with a cooking grate on which to set a coffee pot and my trusty cast-iron skillet. For my 18th birthday, he gave me a commemorative edition Lewis and Clark Lodge Dutch oven and a few handmade cooking tools. I couldn’t have been happier. We spent many happy campouts dishing up burgers, beans and awesome cobblers.
Even though everyone has their own busy schedules these days, we still make it a point to head out to our camping spot once or twice a year to sleep under the stars and cook up some of our favorite foods. Most other evenings, you can find us grilling in the backyard, enjoying the night air and the great company.
If you’re looking to cook up some delicious outdoor grub this summer, the recipes that follow will help you get started in the right direction.